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From Stepping Stone to Dream Job

Having Danish references when looking for a good job in Denmark is important, says Emily, who used a stepping stone to land her dream job

Emily McHugh (Canada/UK)

Before: Student Affairs Officer, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Now: Licensing Coordinator, LEGO Group, Billund, Denmark

When asked if she has one bit of advice for expats hoping to find a job after coming to Denmark, Emily does not hesitate.

"Try to get some experience in Denmark, even if it is not your dream job at first," she says.

Emily, who has a master’s degree in library and information science from McGill University, has been down that road. When she came to Denmark in 2014, she says it was difficult to get noticed. But perseverance and a little extra work experience on the c.v. made all the difference for her.

Emily came to Denmark with her boyfriend (now fiancé), who had already secured a job before coming. About a month after arriving, and several job applications later, she accepted a position as a market researcher at an advertising agency – even though it was a departure from her education.

"My references from Canada weren’t so interesting for most, even if it was coming for some of the top people in my field," says Emily, who is a dual Canadian and British citizen. "But as soon as I could give them a Danish reference it opened doors." Eight months later, a position as a licensing coordinator with toy maker LEGO opened up. It was her chance to be part of an international team working with top publishing houses from all over the world.

"I am sure having that first Danish company on the c.v. helped, and it really helped catapult me into a great job," says Emily. "It took some patience, but was all worth it. Once you get a foothold in the Danish job market, it is common and pretty easy to move around."

And, when asked what makes the new job so great, again she does not hesitate.

"Almost everything. I have flexibility with my job including the possibility to work from home which is great for that work-life balance. And gaining international work experience helps to not only build a stronger c.v., but also develop a more global mindset," she says.